Thursday, March 31, 2011

Featured Learner Series: Marine Gilberto Gonzalez chooses military-friendly Peirce College to complete his degree

A self-described carefree kid, Gilberto Gonzalez started out on the traditional path of an 18-year-old as a college freshman in the fall of 2000. He soon decided to enlist in the Marines, with plans to complete summer boot camp and then resume classes in the fall.

That was the summer of 2001, and Gilberto’s plans to balance school with service changed quickly when the Twin Towers fell. For the time being, it was going to be all service.

Gilberto immediately shipped off to infantry school in North Carolina where he spent the year training before being deployed to Iraq. From 2001 to 2009, he got to see the world.

Gilberto completed two tours of duty in a combat zone and spent time in nine different countries, including trips to Japan, Norway, Mongolia, and Kosovo. In those years, Gilberto underwent a transformation -- from naive college freshman to Marine and veteran.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Step aside 'American Idol': Sign ups for Peirce Idol 2011 coming soon

For the first time last year, we went right to our student body to find the voice that would perform the national anthem at Peirce Commencement 2010. We found that talent through the Peirce Idol competition. Five talented student vocalists auditioned, and the Peirce community watched videos of their performances to vote for their favorites.

The winner of Peirce Idol 2010 was Raymond DeShields, a married father of three who's pursuing his degree in Business Administration from Peirce. Raymond wowed his peers with his stellar audition, and his performance at Commencement gave us goosebumps.

Now it's time to do it all over again with Peirce Idol 2011! Think you have what it takes to be named Peirce Idol 2011? Then check back here and watch your inbox -- we'll be making an official call for auditions next week and sharing all the details contestants will need to know. Want to start practicing? Sing along to last year's audition video!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Work it! What to wear (and not wear) to your next job interview

In February, Career Development Services held a special kind of fashion show. They showed an audience of career hunters the best (and worst) ways to make a good first impression, and how to maintain that look so co-workers and clients know you're serious about your job. We received a lot of help from our sponsors, Daffy's, The Art InstituteHello Home, and Hello World, and were thankful for donations from Downtown Accessories, Career Wardrobe, and Mary Kay Cosmetics. 

It was a high-energy, educational event that was made all the better with the help of our talented emcees, Kimberly Harris and Michael Robinson, and our crew of staff and students turned models.

The crowd learned a lot that night about how to dress for interviews and in the office. Many of these guidelines are outlined below for you -- whether your office dress code is business formal, traditional business, general business, or business casual. As you might have guessed, the rules are somewhat different for men and women.

This advice comes with permission from Sherry Maysonave's website, www.casualpower.com. Sherry is the author of "Casual Power" and producer of "Brand a Positive Business Image."

First, rules for the guys and some important dos and don'ts regarding your appearance (click the image to enlarge).



And next, the rules for ladies.



Beyond these important tips, there are a few other tricks for looking your best at interviews and on the job.

1. Get the look for less. If you don't want to invest too much money in professional attire for work, consider visiting second-hand stores in more affluent neighborhoods. You'll likely find brand name clothes in great condition for a fraction of their original price.

2. Shop for the essentials. These pieces are absolute musts for any work wardrobe.
  • A black suit, with a classic tie for men
  • A crisp, tailored, white shirt
  • A tailored jacket
  • A pair of sensible black pumps (for women) or black leather dress shoes (for men)
  • A pair of black or nude stockings (for women) or black dress socks (for men)
3. Wear what's expected, not what's memorable. The interview is your chance to show potential employers what sets you apart from the crowd, but don't try to make an impression with an outfit that's unexpected. Wait to express your personal style once you've established yourself at work, and even then, consider your office's culture first.

Check back for a video featuring fashion show highlights and a photo slideshow of students and staff strutting their stuff!

Monday, March 21, 2011

When is it time to move on to a new career?

Jenna Goudreau of Forbes.com published a great blog post and slideshow yesterday about the “Top 10 Signs It’s Time To Leave Your Job.” It got me thinking about my own experiences in my role as Dean of Career Management Services for Peirce College.

In all that I’ve witnessed when it comes to those top warning signs that it is time to make a career change, there are certainly some common themes, many of them reflected in Jenna’s article.

One of my former managers always said: “Your career is like a bike ride. If you’re coasting, you’re really going downhill!” My advice is to start pedaling -- either develop additional skills and increase productivity or move on to a more challenging, rewarding opportunity. When working with the students and alumni who come through the doors of the Peirce Career Development Services Office, we tell them it’s time to pedal toward a new role if:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meet Steve Wurtz, President of the Peirce College Alumni Association

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Wurtz, a 2008 graduate of Peirce College, to talk about his current role as President of the newly revitalized Peirce College Alumni Association. Read on to hear about his Peirce experience and how it led him to be part of the rebuilding of the Alumni Association.
Peirce Connections: Tell us your Peirce story.

Steve: When I left my previous job, I was told by the president of the company that I would never use the benefit of tuition reimbursement, being at the time I was almost 30 years old, and I almost took that as a personal challenge to go after my degree. I had always had the desire to go back and get a degree, and that gave me a little more motivation. When I got to my current job, after nine months of employment, you’re eligible for tuition reimbursement, and I jumped on that opportunity to go back to college. A Peirce professor taught courses on site, which made it really easy for me and convenient to go back to college. So I did that in the early 2000s and finished my associate degree, and then came right back and finished my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2008.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peirce Professor Named Director of Collegiate Engagement for Philadelphia Chapter of Black Data Processing Associates

I am proud to share the news that our own Richard Tillies, Assistant Professor of Information Technology, has been appointed Director of Collegiate Engagement for the Philadelphia Chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA).

BDPA, formed in 1975 right here in Philly, is a nonprofit organization of professionals in the Computer Science and Information Technology (IT) fields and the premier national organization for Black IT Professionals.

It was started out of founders Earl Pace and David Wimberly’s shared concern that minorities were not adequately represented in the IT industry.

Today, with more than 40 active chapters across the United States, BDPA has a diverse representation of IT professionals, including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors, and entrepreneurs.

In his nearly three years as an assistant professor of programming and application development courses at Peirce, Richard has been heavily involved in all aspects of our IT program, also serving as a faculty advisor to the Peirce Information Technology Student Association (ITSA).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Student resources: Workshops and events schedules for March and April

The snow has melted! Spring is in the air (well, some days it is) and it’s time to come out of your winter hibernation and take advantage of the many resources and events Peirce College has to offer this spring.

Check out the flyers below for upcoming workshop dates and details from Career Development Services (CDS) and The Walker Center for Academic Excellence. Both departments provide a wide variety of student support services to help you make the most of your academic experience and career development at Peirce.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peirce College welcomes the Graduates’ GPS Conference to campus

Peirce College recently welcomed to campus a fantastic event coordinated by the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), a local organization committed to arming Philadelphia’s young people with the education, resources, and opportunities needed to become successful professionals.

The post-secondary student transition initiative event dubbed “Graduates’ GPS,” brought together students, educators, and Philadelphia employers to provide students with a roadmap for what comes after they earn their high school diploma.

Over 150 recent graduates or soon-to-be-graduates attended the celebratory event. The day marked their achievements thus far and pointed them toward new and exciting opportunities ahead. The School District of Philadelphia and PYN partnered to present this conference.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Remembering Geoffrey R. Haefner

It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of Peirce College Trustee Geoffrey R. Haefner.

Geoffrey was elected to the Board of Trustees in February 2010. A Certified Financial Planner with a longstanding career in personal financial management, he contributed extensive financial expertise to the Board. His commitment to Peirce and belief in our mission was evident in his contributions, and he will be greatly missed.

On behalf of the entire Peirce community, I offer heartfelt condolences to Geoffrey’s family and friends in this time of loss. He will always be remembered fondly by those of us who were fortunate enough to have worked with him in his time at Peirce. Please keep Geoffrey and his loved ones in your thoughts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women in Leadership share success stories with Peirce community

I really hope you didn’t miss this one -- really! But just in case you did, here’s a little snapshot of what transpired on Feb. 9 at Peirce College.

The Career Development Services (CDS) team hosted a “Women in Leadership” panel discussion. Representing various industries, including banking, education, law, government and business, seven women shared their personal and professional journeys with an enthusiastic audience of students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

So you may be asking yourself, “why do a panel discussion on women in leadership?” Well, over 70 percent of our student body consists of women. As Patricia Rucker, Chief Academic Officer and Provost, pointed out, these women represent who our female students aspire to be -- if they aren’t already!

The women in this session, whether they sat at the panel table or in the seats filling the audience, faced many of the same issues. Mothers, daughters, girlfriends, wives -- they all juggle the pulls of family, friends, and personal needs with the demands of a career. Together, panel participants and audience members alike sat down for a candid conversation that was less about leadership models and more about lessons learned in leadership. This was the “stuff” rarely captured in text books.

We talked about everything -- the glass ceiling; taking care of kids while working full time; the stress of balancing multiple responsibilities; the impact of social media on business and job searches (Overwhelming response? Be careful what you put on your social networks! Always be professional and put the best version of yourself out there!); how to make an impression, or simply be seen, in a world increasingly dictated by technology (network, network, network!).

It was truly a memorable night and an opportunity for each woman in the room (and a few very brave men) to speak uninhibitedly about the impact of gender on leadership. More importantly, we realized that no matter what our role, pay, or job, we all encounter similar waves as we navigate our careers. Some become barriers. Others propel us to our next opportunity.

A heartfelt thank you to all of our panelists! You are all incredible role models for women in business and we thank you for your willingness to share your wisdom and insight with the Peirce community.

And for you, if you missed it, check out the slideshow of photos. Please read on for some of the questions posed by our audience and some of the answers and guidance offered by this strong group of Women in Leadership!